What is inequity?

Inequity is the hallmark of a gendered society.  Our society divides people into only two rigid sexes with distinct roles based on social status.  The concept of gender highlights the biased classification system that divides women and men by status and establishes inequity.  Similar systems govern relationships between different races and economic classes.  The resulting inequity allows privilege to be perpetuated since being part of a dominant group is of such importance.

Inequity works best when it’s so prevalent that it goes unnoticed.  In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir points out women’s lack of solidarity and subsequent inability to effectively fight inequity in her time.  De Beauvoir writes, “If they[women] are white, their allegiance is to white men, not Negro women.”  They focus on certain social distinctions without addressing the value system that perpetuates inequity.  Maybe some women who enjoy privilege are too concerned with using it to their advantage to realize the ways in which they themselves are being oppressed and losing potential allies in other women of different races and social classes.

Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (page 34)

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One Response to What is inequity?

  1. javellys says:

    Although I agree with your statement that “society divides people into only two rigid sexes”, I can’t help but play devil’s advocate to some degree. If women are themselves not fighting back and siding with the males in their race or class, then can it be said that they are the ones who are oppressing themselves? If they all fought back would there be such a divide between male and females, or would there be a classification based on gender at all? One can’t help but wonder to what extent woman are classifying themselves and playing along with this inequality. Just a thought.

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